Chinese Diplomat Keynote Speaker With Senators Woo and Oh at Montreal Event Opposing Foreign Agent Registry

The top Chinese diplomat based in Montreal was a keynote speaker at a recent event in that city opposing the establishment of a foreign agent registration act. Senators Yuen Pau Woo and Victor Oh, who also oppose a registry, attended the event as well and voiced opposition to such legislation.  Dai Yuming, the Chinese consul general in Montreal, delivered a speech at the event titled “Reflection Forum of the 100th Anniversary of the Enactment of the Chinese Exclusion Act in Canada,” organized by the Montreal Chinese Community United Centre on May 28. The act, officially called the Chinese Immigration Act and introduced on July 1, 1923, is commonly known as the Chinese Exclusion Act because it resulted from an effort to stop Chinese immigration. Dai told the attendees that, in the face of “injustice” against the Chinese community, they should remember the struggles of early Chinese immigrants in Canada, according to Simcinc.com, a Quebec-based Chinese-language media. The report said Wang Hong, the Chinese vice consul general in Montreal, also attended the event. The Canadian government is currently holding publc consultations on the enactment of a foreign agent registry act, aimed at increasing transparency surrounding the activities of those working in Canada on behalf of a foreign government or entity. The consultations came in the wake of revelations of China’s alleged extensive interference in Canada, including meddling in the past two federal election and establishing at least seven secret police stations on Canadian soil. Other countries like the United States and Australia already have their own versions of legislation to combat foreign interference. Several Canadian politician who attended the event on May 28 echoed Dai’s remarks. Senator Woo, who attended the event by teleconference, called on Chinese-Canadians to speak up and ensure that history won’t be repeated. Woo did not give a direct answer when asked about his attendance at an event where the Chinese consul general was also present. Rather, he said he was “very pleased to show my support for members of the Montreal Chinese community, who organized the event to remember the 100th anniversary of the enactment of the Chinese Exclusion Act.” He said he had spoken at several other similar gatherings and hope to continue to attend more events in the coming months. Sen. Yuen Pau Woo denounces RCMP allegations of interference by the Chinese regime in Canada as community organizer May Chiu looks on, during a news conference at the Chinese Family Service Centre in Montreal on May 5, 2023. (The Canadian Press/Ryan Remiorz) Liberal MP Chandra Arya said at the event that history has demonstrated how a piece of legislation passed in Parliament can deprive new immigrants of their rights and have long-lasting effects on future generations, reported Simcinc.com. Arya did not respond to an Epoch Times request for comment. Sen. Oh reportedly also participated in the May 28 forum discussion by video conference. In response to an Epoch Times request for comment on his attendance, Oh’s office initially said the senator did not take part in the event but later confirmed that he participated on “his own, private, time.” Foreign Agent Registry Another keynote speaker at the event, Shao Liping, provided more context as to what is meant by preventing history from being repeated. Shao, a former chairman of the Montreal Chinese Community United Centre (MCCUC), said the anti-Chinese sentiment in Canada was caused by “China’s weakness and inability to protect its overseas citizens,” as well as “systemic racism among white people,” reported Simcinc.com. “What is perplexing and infuriating is that on the 100th anniversary of the notorious Canadian ‘Chinese Exclusion Act’ of 1923, a wave of anti-China sentiment is suddenly on the rise again,” he said in Mandarin. “Without any factual basis, some media outlets and politicians are provoking anti-China sentiment, alleging Chinese government was interfering in Canadian elections and establishing Chinese police stations in Canada, none of which can be substantiated.” He further condemned the government’s consultations on establishing a foreign agent registry. The Simcinc.com report identified Shao by his title as executive chairman of the Canadian Montreal Chinese Alliance for the Peaceful Reunification of China, a Montreal branch of the China Council for the Promotion of Peaceful National Reunification, an umbrella organization of the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Works Department. The United Front is China’s primary foreign interference tool, according to reports cited by Public Safety Canada. According to the MCCUC website, Shao is an “overseas consultant” for the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese, another organization under the United Front. The Epoch Times reached out to Shao for comment but didn’t hear back. Conservative Sen. Victor Oh in a file photo. (Becky Zhou/The Epoch T

Chinese Diplomat Keynote Speaker With Senators Woo and Oh at Montreal Event Opposing Foreign Agent Registry

The top Chinese diplomat based in Montreal was a keynote speaker at a recent event in that city opposing the establishment of a foreign agent registration act. Senators Yuen Pau Woo and Victor Oh, who also oppose a registry, attended the event as well and voiced opposition to such legislation. 

Dai Yuming, the Chinese consul general in Montreal, delivered a speech at the event titled “Reflection Forum of the 100th Anniversary of the Enactment of the Chinese Exclusion Act in Canada,” organized by the Montreal Chinese Community United Centre on May 28.

The act, officially called the Chinese Immigration Act and introduced on July 1, 1923, is commonly known as the Chinese Exclusion Act because it resulted from an effort to stop Chinese immigration.

Dai told the attendees that, in the face of “injustice” against the Chinese community, they should remember the struggles of early Chinese immigrants in Canada, according to Simcinc.com, a Quebec-based Chinese-language media. The report said Wang Hong, the Chinese vice consul general in Montreal, also attended the event.

The Canadian government is currently holding publc consultations on the enactment of a foreign agent registry act, aimed at increasing transparency surrounding the activities of those working in Canada on behalf of a foreign government or entity.

The consultations came in the wake of revelations of China’s alleged extensive interference in Canada, including meddling in the past two federal election and establishing at least seven secret police stations on Canadian soil. Other countries like the United States and Australia already have their own versions of legislation to combat foreign interference.

Several Canadian politician who attended the event on May 28 echoed Dai’s remarks.

Senator Woo, who attended the event by teleconference, called on Chinese-Canadians to speak up and ensure that history won’t be repeated.

Woo did not give a direct answer when asked about his attendance at an event where the Chinese consul general was also present. Rather, he said he was “very pleased to show my support for members of the Montreal Chinese community, who organized the event to remember the 100th anniversary of the enactment of the Chinese Exclusion Act.”

He said he had spoken at several other similar gatherings and hope to continue to attend more events in the coming months.

Epoch Times Photo
Sen. Yuen Pau Woo denounces RCMP allegations of interference by the Chinese regime in Canada as community organizer May Chiu looks on, during a news conference at the Chinese Family Service Centre in Montreal on May 5, 2023. (The Canadian Press/Ryan Remiorz)

Liberal MP Chandra Arya said at the event that history has demonstrated how a piece of legislation passed in Parliament can deprive new immigrants of their rights and have long-lasting effects on future generations, reported Simcinc.com. Arya did not respond to an Epoch Times request for comment.

Sen. Oh reportedly also participated in the May 28 forum discussion by video conference. In response to an Epoch Times request for comment on his attendance, Oh’s office initially said the senator did not take part in the event but later confirmed that he participated on “his own, private, time.”

Foreign Agent Registry

Another keynote speaker at the event, Shao Liping, provided more context as to what is meant by preventing history from being repeated. Shao, a former chairman of the Montreal Chinese Community United Centre (MCCUC), said the anti-Chinese sentiment in Canada was caused by “China’s weakness and inability to protect its overseas citizens,” as well as “systemic racism among white people,” reported Simcinc.com.

“What is perplexing and infuriating is that on the 100th anniversary of the notorious Canadian ‘Chinese Exclusion Act’ of 1923, a wave of anti-China sentiment is suddenly on the rise again,” he said in Mandarin.

“Without any factual basis, some media outlets and politicians are provoking anti-China sentiment, alleging Chinese government was interfering in Canadian elections and establishing Chinese police stations in Canada, none of which can be substantiated.”

He further condemned the government’s consultations on establishing a foreign agent registry.

The Simcinc.com report identified Shao by his title as executive chairman of the Canadian Montreal Chinese Alliance for the Peaceful Reunification of China, a Montreal branch of the China Council for the Promotion of Peaceful National Reunification, an umbrella organization of the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Works Department.

The United Front is China’s primary foreign interference tool, according to reports cited by Public Safety Canada.

According to the MCCUC website, Shao is an “overseas consultant” for the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese, another organization under the United Front.

The Epoch Times reached out to Shao for comment but didn’t hear back.

Epoch Times Photo
Conservative Sen. Victor Oh in a file photo. (Becky Zhou/The Epoch Times)

Sen. Woo previously confirmed to The Epoch Times that he helped draft a citizen petition against the creation of a foreign agent registry. The petition was sponsored by MP Arya in the House of Commons in April. Launched by Coquitlam, B.C., resident Li Wang, the petition says that a foreign influence registry “poses a serious harassment and stigmatization risk for racialized communities.”

Senators Woo and Oh are key initiators of a “committee” whose work is to reflect on the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act, according to a now-removed article by ccmedia.news. The article reported on an event held in a Chinese shopping mall in Toronto on May 27, where Woo told the roughly 200 people in attendance that the foreign agent registry might become “a modern form of Chinese exclusion,” while Oh called for support for the petition against the registry.

The committee is planning additional events to push back against the registry and will organize a demonstration on Parliament Hill on June 24.

Legislative Efforts

There have been past legislative efforts to create a foreign agent registry.

Sen. Leo Housakos introduced Bill S-237 to create a registry in November 2021, but the bill, now in second reading is the Senate, hasn’t received support from the government. Another bill, C-282, was introduced in the House of Commons by former Conservative MP Kenny Chiu in April 2021, during the last session of Parliament.

Chiu told The Epoch Times in a previous interview that neither his nor Housakos’s proposed legislations mentioned “China” or “Chinese” so that the registry could comprehensively address interference attempts from all authoritarian regimes.

Chiu, who was defeated in his B.C. riding of Steveston—Richmond East in the September 2021 election, told the House of Commons ethics committee in March, that he was a target of Beijing’s disinformation campaign during that race due to his support of a foreign agent registry. 

A survey conducted by Nanos Research last December showed that nearly 90 percent of Canadians support the creation of a registry of foreign agents to curb interference from malign foreign actors.